Erectile dysfunction: how to recognise and treat

Erectile dysfunction is one of those conditions that almost all men shy away from discussing. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Many men would be amazed to learn that this sexual problem is relatively common and often easy to treat!

Health and lifestyle play large parts in a man’s chances of developing erectile dysfunction, so it’s important that you’re clued up on the facts. If you’re unsure about the causes and treatments of erectile dysfunction, Pharma Nord — a leading provider of Prelox and other pharmaceutical supplements — has put together a guide on the disorder to help address your queries and concerns.

 

What are the potential causes of erectile dysfunction?

There’s no single cause of erectile dysfunction, but here are a few common triggers:

  • Hormones: an imbalance of testosterone, unusual thyroid levels and high prolactin (a hormone that encourages lactation) can impede on sexual activity.
  • Restricted bloodstream: this can stop ample blood reaching the genitals.
  • Nerves: injury to your nerves can prevent brain signals reaching the penis. This could be due to diabetes, multiple sclerosis or other medical problems.
  • Psychology: conditions like depression can play a part in a man’s sex drive.

 

Is erectile dysfunction common?

What are the stats around erectile dysfunction? 50% of 40-70-year-old men suffer from erectile dysfunction, which is higher than many believe. On top of this, the condition appears to be worldwide, with 10% of men suffering from it across the globe. Although it’s more common in men over 70 years old, erectile dysfunction can have physical and psychological roots, which means it can happen at any time to any man.

 

Getting professional help and advice for erectile dysfunction

There appears to be a lot of confusion around erectile dysfunction — both in how many men suffer from it and how you make steps to treat it. Seeking professional advice is the only way to embark on the right course of treatment — and the only way to determine if you actually have the condition. Whether or not you have erectile dysfunction is mainly determined by how often you experience sexual problems. For example; if you are unable to gain an erection more than 50% of the time, a doctor would generally diagnose you with erectile dysfunction.

Making an appointment and discussing erectile dysfunction with another person, doctor or not, is an unnerving prospect for many men. Research has shown that many men hold back from taking their problem to a doctor, which means the condition goes untreated. In fact, only around 33% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction ask for medical guidance, and this lack of communication has several ramifications.

Erectile dysfunction is sometimes one of the best indicators health professionals use to diagnose other, more serious, underlying conditions. Not reporting erectile dysfunction could put you in danger of having a life-threatening condition go unnoticed. For example; men suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease sometimes develop erectile dysfunction. This would be a vital indicator that doctors could pick up and act on, if the man sought medical treatment. Another negative impact of not seeking advice for erectile dysfunction is the retrieval of reliable statistics, which could impact on medical research.

The initial step to treating erectile dysfunction is asking for advice from a professional. With several treatments out there, it’s tough, but necessary.

 

Are there ways to determine if you have erectile dysfunction without a doctor?

Want to check that you have the condition before making an appointment with your doctor? There’s a way. Attach a ring of postage stamps to your penis when you go bed. If the ring is broken in the morning, it indicates that your penis is working during the night. This signals that the cause of your sexual problems could be psychological, rather than physical. (However, please note that this is not 100% reliable or accurate).

 

Medication: the hidden source of erectile dysfunction

Medication is sometimes overlooked as a trigger of erectile dysfunction. If you’re taking any of the below, this could be a source of any problems you might be having:

  • Corticosteroids (for these needing an anti-inflammatory).
  • Antidepressants.
  • Antihistamines (for allergy sufferers).
  • Diuretics (for those with high-blood pressure).

Do you suffer from diabetes? Medical studies indicate that men with diabetes tend to suffer from the condition up to 15 years earlier than other men, and often have a higher-than-average chance of developing erectile dysfunction later in life.

 

Lifestyle choices and erectile dysfunction

For men who want to try helping the condition themselves before taking it to a doctor, there are a few key lifestyle choices that you could change to help with erectile dysfunction.  Leading a more health-conscious lifestyle can significantly help lower the risk of developing erectile dysfunction, try:

  • Improving your exercise levels.
  • Lowering your alcohol intake.
  • Giving up smoking.
  • Losing weight.

Men who work towards all these lifestyle changes should see a reduction in stress levels and perhaps an improvement in the problem without visiting a medical professional.

 

Steps to treating erectile dysfunction

Essentially for most men, the only way to determine if you have erectile dysfunction, why you have it, and how to cure it is to see a doctor. Understandably, many men will find this tough, but as soon as your doctor establishes the cause, they’re in a far better position to find a cure. Because erectile dysfunction is relatively common, there is already a range of medication available to treat it if the cause is physical. Also, when the problem is psychological, patients can speak with qualified therapists to help ease anxieties and mental issues that could be causing the condition.

Never hold back from seeking advice for erectile dysfunction — it’s more common and easier to remedy than you might think!

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